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Looking for referrals from your local GP surgeries?

How do you get referrals from a GP?

Over the past few years, the NHS has begun slimming down in response to the Government’s spending policies. GPs in particular will be painfully aware of the treatments that are becoming less and less available to their patients, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and some talking therapies. As such, they may be more likely to refer their patients to private practice.

Of course, a GP will only refer their patient to someone they know and trust. It is your job, therefore, to build a relationship.

You can’t simply give your GP your business card or a leaflet and hope they will give you a referral. How you build a relationship is up to you, but the best way to start is by asking if they will be willing to meet you and get to know you. You may be worried about giving them a call in case you’re rejected straightaway. However, there’s really no harm in calling and asking if you can attend part of a practice meeting or provide a CPD service for them. If the answer is no, ask whether you could at least drop off a referral pack.

Creating a referral pack

A referral pack is far better than a leaflet, because it will make it as easy as possible for a GP to refer to you. It can contain an introduction to yourself together with your qualifications, experience and professional memberships. You can introduce your service, explain about your charges and include referral forms. Your referral pack can also be put on your website. 

NHS commissioning for counselling

The NHS has formal commissioning processes to enable GPs to refer patients for NHS-funded counselling. You can find out more about how NHS commissioning works on the BACP website, which has extensive guidance for practitioners:  http://www.bacp.co.uk/commissioning/

Do you have any experience or advice for fellow therapists about how to get referrals from your GP? Let us know here